Fire Commission chair Casey Healy and First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice announced the appointment of Wilton Fire Department Captain James (Jim) Blanchfield to a four-year term as Wilton’s next Fire Chief. Beginning July 1, Blanchfield will begin serving as the department’s Acting Deputy Fire Chief, and then take over as chief upon the departure of Wilton’s current Interim Fire Chief Geoffrey Herald, who is scheduled to finish his term on Oct. 31.
In his 14 years with the Wilton Fire Department, Blanchfield has held the ranks of Captain, Lieutenant, and Firefighter. He is certified to the level of Fire Officer IV by the State of Connecticut, as well as Incident Safety Officer and as a Hazmat Technician on the Fairfield County Regional Hazmat team. Blanchfield also holds multiple certifications in emergency management.
Prior to joining Wilton, he served as an officer of the Trumbull Center Fire Department, where he was promoted through the ranks to the position of Captain and also served for several years as the president of its Executive Board. Jim also acted as that department’s Health and Safety Officer and Infection Control Officer. Unlike most of Wilton, which is served by full-time professional firefighters, Trumbull is comprised of fire districts, operated and manned by volunteers.
Blanchfield has served as an adjunct fire instructor for both the Connecticut Fire Academy and Fairfield Fire Training School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude from Quinnipiac College School of Law.
“It is important to have continuity,” said Commissioner Healy, “Jim has served the Fire Department well and he will continue to lead with respect, knowledge, and compassion that our Town needs during these challenging times.”
Vanderslice said “I look forward to working with Jim and am confident in his future success as Wilton’s next Fire Chief. I’m particularly pleased that Jim’s promotion creates additional promotional opportunities within the department.”